In the race to the North Pole, who will become the victor, and who will fall to the ravages of the Cold Beneath? Phillip Syntax is the world’s best biomechanic with a checkered past of betrayal and lost love. When given a chance at redemption by the celebrated soldier Gideon Lightbridge, how can he refuse? This ill-fated expedition turns from daring to disastrous when their airship, the Northern Fancy, crashes in the far and frozen north, leaving the crew stranded without hope. But that isn’t the worst of it. One by one the dead crew members arise from the cold ashes to seek the warmth of the living, and it becomes every man for himself in an effort not to join the ranks of the revenants.
I know I said I was giving up on zombies for a while, but I got this audiobook knowing absolutely nothing about it, except that it was read by the delightful Chris Barnes. The zombies, although terrifying, are not the best part of this story.
The first thing you’ll notice whether you read or listen to The Cold Beneath is the characters. Each character is rich and well developed and I was in love with them by the end of the first chapter. There is a little humor and each character goes through his or her own sense of loss, sadness, betrayal and fear. It’s been a long time since I cried over the death of a character, but when one met an untimely demise, tears were shed.
American soldier Gideon Alabaster Lightbridge wants to be the first man to travel to the North Pole. He and his team built a marvelous airship called the Northern Fancy and he seeks the help of Phillip Syntax, a biomechanic who designed Lightbridge’s artificial legs. Syntax has become somewhat of a recluse, due to the betrayal of his mentor, but when Lightbridge asks him to accompany him on this journey, he can’t pass up the chance at fame and fortune.
The Northern Fancy crashes and strange and terrifying things begin to happen. Dead crew members return to life and it is up to Lightbridge and Syntax to figure out what’s going on and put a stop to it, if they can.
The zombies in this book are seeking the warmth of the living crew members. In the audiobook version, Barnes voices the zombies brilliantly and makes them far more scary than If I had read it instead of listening.
I’ve rambled here, but let me close by saying that I can’t recommend this book enough. If you like steampunk that is written in classic Jules Verne style, or if you just like a compelling zombie novel, you don’t want to miss The Cold Beneath.